Karakul sheep are called one of the oldest Middle Asian breeds. Disputes about the origin of the breed are still being conducted. Professor Kushelov believes that thousands of years have been spent on breeding the Karakul breed. Excavations in Turkmenistan gave information that sheep, very similar to Karakul lived on that land for several thousand years before our era.
Some researchers have the opinion that sheep having valuable fur were imported into the Central Asian lands by Arab conquerors, and after that local residents directed efforts to careful selection and fattening of sheep. So the Karakul breed was created. This theory is reinforced by the fact that the locals call the Karakul sheep “Arab”. Opinions and hypotheses are very much relative to the ancient roots of these sheep.
However, there are more prosaic versions: for example, that the Karakul sheep were bred in what is now called Uzbekistan, by crossing sheep’s sheep with Arabs (again referring to Arab roots). Even about the name of the breed “Karakul” there are disputes: someone thinks that the name is connected with the lake Karakul, located in the Pamir, others explain the name of the breed by translation from Assyrian, which means “black goat”.
Whatever origin Karakul sheep had, their contemporaries are bred in many countries: in Ukraine, Russia, Central Asia, Arab countries, America and even Africa. The Karakul breed is perfectly adapted to the hot, arid climate, which makes its breeding possible in countries close to the equator.
One of the most important reasons why Karakul sheep have received such popularity and widespread breeding of their breed is the great value of lamb skins, or, as they are called, lambs. Manufacturers of fur and call this product – karakul. Smuts are produced by killing lambs in the early days of their life, skins are in great demand and directly dependent on the age of the offspring. Smilies are of a variety of colors – white, gray, blue, dairy and black, which makes them even more valuable.
Sheep have a dry, lean body with a strong constitution, since they are adapted to the content in hot conditions, are hardy and unpretentious to feed. They are able to eat more than half of the plant species growing in the places of their pasture, while cows and horses do not exceed 20%. Milk of karakul sheep is extracted from the queens, whose lambs were selected for the production of lambs, and meat products are sold at the expense of individuals that are not suitable for qualitative bunnies (7-8 months old) and due to old sheep.
Karakul sheep are referred to long-tailed sheep, have a tail bent by the English letter “S”, basically it grows up to the hock joint.
Sheep are sheared in the spring and autumn periods, their hair is long, can reach 20 cm, rough, not always homogeneous (in adult breeds). On average, the wool is trimmed from the queens about 2.5 kg, and under conditions of good feeding and care it can reach 3.5 kg per year. Sheep give up to 5 kg of wool.
Weight of rams from 60 to 70 kg, and the queens from 45 to 50 kg. Such criteria as weight, constitution, wool and even fecundity are highly dependent on conditions of maintenance, care and feed. All indicators may vary. The breed is considered quite dairy, on average the uterus can give up to 30 liters of milk, the fat content varies from 7 to 8%. The Karakul breed also has a good heredity, crossing with the best qualities of its breed, for which it is so appreciated all over the world.
Of the shortcomings, experts note that when the sheep are kept in the climate with cheese, with a lot of precipitation and saturated pastures, the sheep are reduced. For their maintenance, the arid climate is ideal.
Karakul breed of sheep